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History dictates teams must find QBs early

I shared with you recently that an NFL scout related to me his opinion that any team hoping for a good chance at finding a starting quarterback should think of accomplishing that goal early in the draft, certainly not much later than the first round.

Well, the folks at draftmetrics.com are putting statistical weight behind that opinion now.

In studying the NFL drafts of 1991-2010, draftmetrics has come up with the astonishing fact that over 48 percent of quarterbacks starts the past 20 years were made by players selected in the first round (selections 1-28), which is nearly twice as much as the average for all positions.

There have been 241 QBs selected by NFL clubs from 1991-2010 and a whopping 68.2 percent of the ones picked within the first 13 picks of the draft became five-year starters.

Let that marinate for a moment.

The NFL draft is, in my opinion, a 50-50 proposition. Bill Parcells famously said, "they don't sell insurance for this."

Yet nearly 7 of 10 QBs picked between No. 1-13 overall were good enough to be starting for their teams for a long time. That is impressive.

The draftmetrics folks also bust the myth that drafting a quarterback must necessarily be an exercise in patience because 30 QBs over the past 20 years of drafting have started at least eight games in their rookie seasons.

Why am I sharing this you?

Well, if you think the Dolphins can find a five-year starter with the No. 15 overall selection in the coming draft, this study suggests the chances are much better if Miami could trade up a couple of spots to get a higher rated player.

It tells you that if you are convinced the Dolphins cannot find a 2011 starting quarterback in this draft, you are not recognizing facts because 30 rookies did exactly that since 1991.

If you are advocating the Dolphins trade back -- rather than up -- to add a pick and take a lesser rated QB, history is saying you're making a bad deal. Consider that while 68.2 percent of QBs picked by the 13th overall pick become five-year starters, only 14.3 percent of QBs picked between selections 49 and 74 accomplished the feat and only 6.7 percent of QBs selected from 74-114 overall accomplished the feat.

Point is teams maximize their chances of success with QBs by getting them earlier. And the ones that come late are typically not going to solve your QB issues.

Yes, there are exceptions. Tom Brady was the 199th player selected. Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent.

But exceptions are rare.

The top quarterbacks, the quarterbacks that start right away and last for at least five years as starters go early in the first round, according to the 20-year study.

So what does this mean in today's real world?

Well, it means that Blaine Gabbert, likely the first quarterback off the board in 2010 and likely a Top 10 pick, has a very good chance of being a success according to the history.

It means that JaMarcus Russell's failure was the exception and not the rule.

It means that quarterbacks teams rate as later prospects are more likely to become Brady Quinn than Tom Brady.

All of this should give teams pause. And it does. I know for a fact teams conduct similar studies of past drafts to maximize their chances of success.

So say, for example, the Dolphins have Nevada's Colin Kaepernick on their board as the No. 49 rated player ... Well, the historical probability of him becoming a five-year starter for Miami?

14.3 percent.

Think about that.


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Mark May on espn just made Mark Ingram his pick for rookie of the year! LOL................

Cam Newton is his pick that will struggle most as a rookie! LOL...................


You really believe the Dolphins have been running a offense for the last 3 years that Tony is against?

Henning was Tony's guy. We will not see a aggressive offense until Mr FG is gone.

I will be real interested to see the handcuffs come off the QB or not or if the Dolphins throw the ball down field sometime or if the play calling actually goes for TD's rather than positioning for FG's.

If I'm wrong then great! I will be the 1st to be stoked about it.

Rodgers, Brees, Kurt Warner, Kolb, favre (2nd round 33rd overall), Brady, Romo, Schaub. All late first round or waaaay later. This is a silly column. You need a competent staff who can choose with conviction and develop a young QB in a system which fits todays NFL. Our FO and coaching staff are ruining Henne, like we wasted Taylor, Thomas, R Williams, S Madison, Surtain, are wasting J Long, C Wake.

My greatest fear when reading some of the post here is not what you guys have written. My greatest fear is Ireland actually does it and you'll cry for the exact same unsuccessful things come the 2012 draft! LOL..........

Granted Jones or Smith or Solder coudl easily be gone by #15 but that still leaves,

Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Mike Pouncey, G, Florida

There is good offensive line help in the 1st round.

I dont get the insinuation that improving the offensive line results in a sleeper offense.

Passing requires pass protection, a running game requires run blocking.

Nobody blamed the coaches for the poor performances of our last 14 QB's. Why do so many bloggers insist they know Sparano and Henning put handcuffs on Henne? Absurd. I suppose if Marino had these coaches he'd look like Henne, uh huh, yeah, right, got it.

DB, are you using the hindsight is 20/20 loophole. Because Miami has passed on plenty of players. That even an average fan like me could have noticed. They have wasted picks. When they could have moved up to get a better player. And keep talking about how important the draft is. I'm a big fan. But I don't get it.


You keep contradicting yourself. Didnt you just post to CraigM youre tired of "sleeping pill" offense? The surest way to that is an olineman as a high 1st rd pick.

Dude you have no 2nd rd pick. So now you put all of your eggs in the basket of getting an explosive offensive starter in rds 3 and lower. Im sure you would be against Kendall Hunter as a 3rd rd pick too. He'll be the most explosive player that"might" still be around.

Even if youre not, now we still have a problem wr's 4th rd or lower wont "ADEQUATELY" address a glaring need for deep threat. Just because a guy is fast doesnt mean he adequately address the problem when he has to play against the nfl "bigboys".

Seems you rather take the surest route to continuing the "sleeping pill" offense. The very thing youre deadset against but did very little to address.

Henne will get a chance in the new system, but he will have to battle whoever the FO get in, right here the only chance they have is a drafted QB and as the thread says, it had better be a 1st rounder otherwise why bother.
The more I see of Mallet actually the more I like, like Marino he is a pure pocket passer, with a hell of an arm and isn't afraid to take his shots as his yards per throw indicate.
He's also gonna drop due to drugs rumours and will be there at 15.
He has confidense in his abilities and leadership qualities.
Maybe plenty of red flags being put out there but I'd take a chance on him in a heartbeat.
As for wasting a 1st rounder, if he pans out then great if not then what have we really lost, Odrick, jason allen, ted ginn jr weren't exactly brilliant


You're not allowed to write stuff like that on here. The natives will get angry. You're only allowed to talk about successful first round QB's like Manning an Manning and Rivers and Roethlisberger and Flacco. Don't you know if you dont take QB in the first early you can't win. It's etched in stone somewhere.

Oregon, Dan Henning was a Bill Parcells hire, plain and simple. He's an old buddy of his. Paul P, the defensive coach was too. Parcells was given control of the team and all the hires were his, including Sparano and Ireland. Rightly or wrongly Parcells is a control freak. It's his way or no way. He pulled the same stunt in New England when Kraft told him to draft Terry Glenn.

As control of this team has slipped away from Parcells (see the firing of Paul P, the release of Pat White (a Parcells pick) and the now departed Henning), this has become Ireland and Sparano team. You and I don't know what control Sparano had over Henning or how Henning contract was written but it's fair to assume he was protected by Parcells being there. On top of that, once Parcells left the team mid-season, they're not going to fire and more importantly embarass a 38 year old veteran coach by firing him mid-season. Besides that they had no other options....coach Sparano has never been a play-caller, despite being a Head Coach in College. So we've been stuck with Dan Henning's ways for three years. No more. Can we at least wait and see what they have for us before we write them off? You're doing things the Bill Connors way.

Passing also requires legit deep threat recievers. DC will blitz hell out of you if you dont. Great olines look bad when always having to face 6-7 pass rushers on a consistent basis.

Also not having legit deep threat recievers bog down the running game. DC's just play 7-8 in the run box and force you into 3rd and longs, then blitz you on those 3rd and longs.

So sad to see you guys think its all primarily the oline's fault. 7-8 in the box on run down and 6-7 pass rushers on passing downs. Why do you suppose this is happening. Geesh I cant paint the picture any brighter than that.

Actually mags, they were awful, lol. I agree with you, and have always said that in this draft, mallet is the pick. He's got the size, and I have followed him since Michigan and he has learned so quickly it's impressive. He still has upside.
I am screaming this from the mountain tops: I'm glad gabbert will be gone before....he is to me' very similar to Matthew stafford and Jamarcus Russell, overrated because of recent exposure. He will not be a successful qb in the NFL. Hopefully the team that gets him isn't the bengals.


Good points to Oregon. Oregon is on record as saying he might not even draft a running back in this draft at all. There's some BRILLIANT strategizing!! Not a single running back under contract for next year and we're going to ignore the draft total for one. Ask him where we're getting our running backs from for next year. I've yet to get an answer. Thanks.

Dolphins just tendered Thigpen. What does it mean? Only need 1 more QB but I think it hints at drafting one. Opinions?

I pretty sure Sparano called plays in Dallas.

My question is if they draft Mallett do they keep Ricky around to give him someone to smoke up with between games? just asking?.....

in 2006


Wrong bud. Sparano was the line coach in Dallas. Jason Garrett was the OC.


Sparano was oline coach in Dallas. Oline coaches dont call plays. WOW!...........

thats not what it says on Wikipedia

it's going to be ok DB. LOL!!!


I stand corrected. Garret was quarterbacks coach with us in 2006 and Sparano was assistant coach in Dallas. I'm still not convinced he was calling the plays. Can anyone verify this. Was Henning the OC at that time in Dalas?

Nope Henning was with the Panthers

Getting really scary now. Newton has fallen to 10th on espn draft board. By draft time we'll end up with the highest potential bust.

Dolphans will scream bloody murder if he's there at 15th and we dont take him. In 2 years Ingram will be becoming a pro bowler and those screaming loudest for Newton will be in hiding or will have new screen names! LOL...........

Gary Stevens, you could look at those stats the opposite way, that almost HALF of all por bowlers were selected in the FIRST ROUND vs all other RNDs COMBINED!

To me that is more of an endoresement for DRAFTING high.

SS Sux says:
March 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm
yeah. and henne is starting material.lmao.. buffoons...

That's why from the beginning of the season I was calling for Sparano to start calling the plays. Because Henning sucked at it.


Sean Payton was Dallas' OC in 2005
Maurice Carton in 2006
Jason Garrett in 2007

We will see about the offense. I will believe it when I see it.

If you are imagining that you are keeping a record of blog statements then you have missed my repeatedly posting to simply sign Ronnie.

Ronnie is a better RB than any in this draft.


You can attempt to ridicule those who do not agree with you all you like, that does not make you reasonable or correct.

You have a crystal ball? You know how this draft will break? Of course you do not yet you talk like you know. It is absurd.

So Tyron Smith and Aldon Smith are weak and poor 1st round picks yet will not be on the board at #15?

You can't have it both ways man.

You spout statistics about offensive production in an attempt to support the idea the Dolphins offensive line was good last year?

Baby please!

IF the Dolphins can not move back and acquire a 2nd round pick OT is a perfectly good move.

Jerrel Jernigan, WR/KR, Troy

Virgil Green – TE – Nevada

would still 'possibly' be available in the 3rd and 4th rounds.

It is all a guessing game.

All this article tells me is, we need to lose more games, so we can pick higher in the draft.
I think Henne will be better this year if we improve the "O" line. Our backup last year wasn't really a backup, so we need to add a quality backup, then add to the defense and offense as the draft allows.

This team is nearly a top five team, don't throw away our momentum.


None of us know how all of this is going to shakedown. The only thing I would ask is that you keep an open mind and give these guys a chance. They want to win just as badly as you and I, if not more so. Incidentally, I am in favoour of re-signing Brown also. He's be fine as our secondary option.

I like the two guys you mentioned in Jerningan and Green. If they are there in the third or fourth round then great. Don't know a lot about Green but man he really impressed me at the Combine.


Im not ridiculing you. Many disagree with me, thats thier right. I dont get angry.

Just some guys take presenting strong argument against what they propose as "ridicule". If you dont like what you call "ridicule" then present better facts.

Dont think that the louder you scream the greater your argument gets. Find "REAL" facts to support them.

Disagreeing with someone elses pick and presenting a highly unrealistic scenario is highly questinable at best and Im being nice.

You know good and well that the guys you propose in place of "more solid and realistic" ideas, are 95% an impossibility to be around at #15. You say the pie is a little sour but only offer crud in its place.

hawk. with henne at qb. the phins will be picking top 5 for sure in 2012.

Uh no, Sparano called plays for Dallas in '06.

Wiki and Dolphins offical website

No comments on Thigpen being tendered? Kind of big news for this time of year.


How do you propose even with a better oline to be consistent agains 7-8 in the run box and 6-7 pass rushers on 3rd and longs?

Do you propose improving the oline automatically of its own drastically improves this? If so, 31 other DC's in this league have just fallen deeply in love with you. LOL........

Ingram may turn out to be a great player but I'd caution making the Emmitt Smith comparison ad nauseum.

I'd venture that literally DOZENS of guys with similar speed questions despite very productive college careers were compared to Smith as well, with most winding up as marginal players and even those slightly better than that well short of Smith's ability at the pro level. None of us have the ability to truly know how good Ingram will be, including those who think they do.

Tony did Call the plays in Dallas for 1 year

The available fa class of nfl qb's is so great its reported some teams are now getting interested in Thypen. Thus the Dolphins reasoning for tendering him.

But dependant on what happens with the new cba, the Dolphins 1yr tender may not "stick". Thypen's agent thinks he deserves a fair shot at a starting qb position but wont get it in Miami. WOW!....................

Craig M

I am quite convinced that us Fans know jackdung on how to pick succesful players in the Draft. And, except for a gifted few(Joe Thomas, Jimmy Johnson come to mind) moat GM's also qualify for that pile. I believe good, consistent drafting comes from a good, consistent organization and not from individuals. See, NE, Pitt, GB. Yessir.

Who really cares if Sparano called plays for one season in Dallas. It still doesnt make him a very experienced play caller based on only one season of limited experience.

Its a futile argument no matter how you chalk it up! He was oline coach when Parcells hired him away from Dallas period.


You need to go back and look at that. I have the OC of the Dallas Cowboys being Maurice Carthon. Sparano was the assistant coach but did not call plays. I took this right off the Cowboys website.

DB, one of the best lines Ive read on here, 'You say the pie is a little sour but only offer crud in it's place'. Not sure i could say that with a straight face....LOL.

Guys, nothing's for sure (we all talk with purpose, but really no one has a crystal ball and knows what will happen).

There really is just ONE thing that's absolutely, 100% FOR SURE.....drafting Mark Ingram with the #15 pick in the 2011 Draft will be one of the worst mistakes Miami has made in it's long history of Draft mistakes.

That's the only thing everyone can take to the bank. Why? Because I believe that to my core, lol.

Thigpen reminds me of Fiedler. I hope he lights a fire under Hennes butt. Or better yet become that seasoned player he can be.

And IMO Miami has a West Coast look that can work.

i have a crystal bong.lol

The numbers in Salguero's post dont lie. As a fan, you may fall in love with a Kapernick or whoever as a 'diamond in the rough' but reality is that there's a VERY low chance they'll ever be a standout NFL quarterback.

Not impossible, just very unlikely. And that's regardless of what you think you "see" in them.

The problem for Miami here is that the team has virtually no ammunition to move up to grab one of the top-ranked guys and that just taking one that's left at 15 could be a SERIOUS reach when better talent is there at other positions.

Miami needs an upgrade, but this isn't the most advantageous year for them to be able to do it.

DC - Well if you get your wish come true and we don't draft Ingram, you better hope that my wish comes true too - that NE doesn't take him!

if marino had 4 days practice and only had his 3rd string ol playing against the 85 bears that mon.nite.how do you think he would have faired.?.lol

Craig m and DB,

It's funny that I haven't even read your blogs in a couple of weeks, but you guys spew the same regurgitated bs here week in week out. Henne surely su ked all of last year and will suck again once the CBA is signed. Ricky looked better than Ronnie last year. So why resign Ronnie instead of Ricky.

I almost prefer to read Bobbyd12 blogs. It's funny that if you back 2 weeks you'll see your posts haven't changed one bit. You are both hacks and trolls! Oh and fake ALoco has better insight than either of you.


And in reality even those "great" GM's had plenty of blunders. Joe Thomas was superb with the Dolphins...average with Baltimore...and a disaster with the 49ers (his last job)

Bobby Beathard is remembered as a personnell guru with the Redskins but his early years with Miami were not impressive in the least.

Even the best of these guys need a little luck and enough ammunition (draft picks) to cover their mistakes.

The Pats make PLENTY of draft errors (despite some fans thinking all their moves are great). The key for them---aklways---is acquiring a LOT of picks knowing full well they'll miss on some.


I dug a little deeper and found out that Sparano did in fact call plays for the Cowboys in 2006. Apologies.

Considering New England has what seems like ALL of the picks in the first 3 rounds, I'm all for trading down to gain a pick. You never know who is going to be a bust or not so just keep adding players. We have needs all over the place. Not just at QB, so going all Spielman and giving away draft picks would be a stupid move.

Well look who's coming out of the closet, it's our old friend d-dense and as per usual he's got nothing of value to contribute other than to pick a fight with somebody. What's up brother? Tough day at work? Kids got you down?

Why don't you contribute something of VALUE to this blog for a change instead of going out of your way to pick fights. If it's a fight you're wanting your barking up the wrong tree.

0x80, my wish is NE gets all Sergio Kindle picks (guys that crack their skulls and have to sit out the season).

Another possibility, DB, for Miami tendering Thigpen is that they think they won't be able to draft the QB they like(if any) and are not interested in any of the FA's. So that will leave us with Henne, Thigpen, and Brandstad. Lord have mercy!


I truly take your highly appreciated comments as a huge endorsement. ESPECIALLY, coming from a guy that calls himself DEE-DENSE.

Ive never seen a more appropriate screen name for a guy of your ant high intelligence level! LOL...................

The stats contained in Armando's article are basically useless.

1. Variables to the point of being inapplicable.

2. The goal isn't just too find a starting QB for a team terrible enough to pick that high. The goal is to find a starting QB that can WIN GAMES for a team terrible enough to pick that high.

Lets juxtaposition win/loss percentages of those starters picked 1-12 and the ENTIRE ARGUMENT goes out the window.

While it's a good STATISTICAL rule of thumb, there are MANY more obvious and important considerations by far. Your teams current situation and strength of draft class far outweigh ANY statistical rules of thumb.

Example: We can trade up into the "statistically acceptable" range and still have to reach for a guy with all kinds of red flags. Say a Cam Newton for instance.

From that point forward, we're trying to upgrade the O-line, RB and WR positions with 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th rounders. A redundant proposition.

Our case obviously is one of extreme, but the statistical rule of thumb is simply smoke and mirrors.

It's more than just drafting a starting QB. It's FINDING THE QB that can consitently win enough games to get you to the playoffs. Like I said above, juxtaposition the win/loss percentages of the 68 percent of QB's picked 1-12 and the "landscape" becomes severely skewerd.

PS: Heineken Mini Kegs RULE!!!!


Just ignore d-dense, he'll go away. the guy contributes NOTHING to the blog. He's all worldly and then when you don't agree with him he just wants to fight. He can't discuss and disagree like a normal human he has to take everything personally.....


What, did you expect any better from a guy calling himself DEE-DENSE? Im sure it was his closest friends that gave him that nickname that like it or not stucked.

A guy has to be pretty mentally challenged to think its cool to call himself DENSE! LOL............

hilarious, i agree. i think craig m is sparanos son

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